Buffalo Bills Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcell Dareus will return to Hamburg Town Court at 10 a.m. Sept. 9 for further proceedings and motions in connection with an alleged May 30 street racing incident that ended when Dareus’ Jaguar crashed into a tree.
A court clerk had told the media this morning that the case was headed for a non-jury trial Sept. 9, but Dareus’ attorney later said that was not true.
“If we’re unable to work out a resolution on Sept. 9, the case would then be scheduled for a non-jury trial,” Michael P. Caffery told The Buffalo News.
Dareus declined a plea deal this morning for a reckless driving charge.
His return date to court falls between Week 1 and 2 of the NFL regular season – two days after the Bills’ opener at Chicago.
The 24-year-old Dareus, dressed in a gray suit, appeared calm during his court hearing this morning. He sat in the second row of the gallery and looked at his cellphone while waiting for his case to be called before Hamburg Town Justice Gerald P. Gorman.
After the date was set, Dareus left in a black Mercedes-Benz sedan, with Caffery driving.
On May 30, following a voluntary off-season practice, Dareus and teammate Jerry Hughes were allegedly involved in a high-speed street race in the middle of the afternoon near one of the Southtowns’ busiest intersections.
According to Hamburg police, Dareus lost control of his white 2012 Jaguar and the car crossed over two lanes of oncoming eastbound traffic on Milestrip Road near McKinley Parkway. The Jaguar ran over a curb and passed through some grass and the parking lot of the Mongolian Buffet restaurant before crashing into a tree. Dareus, who was uninjured, exited the crumpled vehicle and fled, police said. He was arrested less than 15 minutes later.
Dareus was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving and participating in an illegal speed contest. He was also charged with several vehicle and traffic violations – leaving the scene of a property-damage accident, failure to keep right, speeding and making an unsafe lane change.
If convicted of reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor, he could face up to a year in jail.
The alleged street race wasn’t Dareus’ only legal trouble of the offseason.
The fourth-year pro is also facing felony charges that could result in a suspension by the NFL. On May 5, Dareus was arrested in his native Alabama following a traffic stop on Interstate 20. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Drafted third overall in 2011, Dareus is coming off a career year in which he posted 71 tackles and 7-½ sacks and earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl. He was benched for the beginning of the Bills’ final two games of the season for showing up late to team meetings.